Evidence for the activity and paleoseismicity of the Padul fault (Betic Cordillera, southern Spain)

P. ALFARO, J. GALINDO-ZALDÍVAR, A. JABALOY, A.C. LOPEZ-GARRIDO, C. SANZ DE GALDEANO

Abstract


There is evidence of recent tectonic activity in the proximity of Padul, in the central sector of the Betic Cordillera. The principal active fault in this region is the Padul normal fault, running NW-SE, which displays spectacular geomorphological and structural features owing to its recent activity. However, there is no evidence of earthquakes of moderate-high magnitude occurring in this area during the historical or the instrumental period. In the vicinity of Padul we identified various soft-sediment deformation structures produced by liquefaction which we attributed to seismic shocks of a moderate-high magnitude. These structures are situated in detritic sediments, intercalated with layers of peat, which have enabled dating of these paleoearthquakes to the late Pleistocene (approx. 30,000 to 35,000 yr BP). Moreover, field observations in sediments of alluvial fans in the vicinity of the Padul fault, together with a retrodeformation analysis of an outcrop, enabled various deformation events to be dated to the recent Quaternary period.

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